I met my friend Kitty at the Bennington Museum this morning. We were there to look a the sculpture park which is full of new art. It was inspiring.
When I got home I started working on my fabric painting, A Forest In My LivingRoom, that I started some time ago. I had a good sense of what I want to do with it, but couldn’t get started.
That changed today. I finally feel like I’m ready to work on this piece and am excited to get back to it on Monday. Today I made the rug in front of the pink couch.
I used a piece of forest green fabric and stitched a vine and flower pattern on it. Then I sewed it onto the backing and stitched the tassel on either end.
Next, I let the vine and flower pattern grow off the rug and onto the backing….
I stopped before the vine took over. I’ll be adding other elements to the piece (like a table and lamp with a bird on it and a tree or two) and I wanted to leave space for them. After that I’ll get back to the vine.
This is what the fabric painting looked like when I left my studio this evening.
I went back to my studio after dinner and continued designing potholders that I started this morning. I still have a couple of pig heads and some chicks, but I’m done for the night.
It’s getting harder and harder to tell Kitty and Anne apart. But Kitty is still a bit bigger and the red around her face which will grow into her comb and wattle is darker.
I moved my work table into the middle of my studio and covered it with a dropcloth. I’d never done a Gelli print before, but by the way Emily described it, it sounded like something I wanted to try.
When Emily saw that last week was a rough one for me she invited herself over to do something creative together. “We never worked together,” she said to me as if it was a given that we should.
I’ve been working alone for so long, it never even entered my mind.
Emily suggested we do something that we couldn’t sell, to take the pressure off and allow our intuition to run free.
The last time I did printmaking I was in my mid-twenties in art school. I was never very good at it. The reverse thing always threw me. When you pull a print it’s always backward from what you’ve drawn. I never got used to that.
But with the kind of prints we were making today, it wasn’t about having an idea of what the print would look like when it was done. It was more about not knowing and trusting.
Gelli prints are made by rolling paint with a brayer onto a thick soft surface then pressing paper (or fabric) over it. It’s a monoprint. Which means each print will be different and can’t be repeated like in many printmaking processes.
When I first began, everything I made looked to me like something Emily would have made. The colors and shapes reminded me of the ones I’d see in her work. But by the end of the day, I was beginning to get a feel for it.
We worked from about ten to one o’clock, then Jon made us lunch, fresh corn on the cob, and a cauliflower pizza. After that we looked at the pieces we had made. So many of them looked better to me than when I first printed them.
Emily and I both did prints on paper and fabric. When we were done, we put them on my studio floor to dry. We didn’t pay much attention to who made what and once they were dry we printed over many of them adding colors and textures to finish them off.
Emily took all the prints on paper to use for her collages and I kept the prints on fabric including a large piece that Emily made.
I’ll let my prints dry for 24 hours then put them in the dryer for an hour to set. In a week I’ll wash them. Then I can use them the way I would any piece of fabric.
After Emily left I got a phone call about a doctor’s bill that I’ve been disputing for over a year and brought me so low I forgot what a good day we had. I was trying to remember how I felt about it and couldn’t. That’s when Jon told me to look at the video he took of us working together.
When I did, I could see just how happy I was. How easy Emily and I worked together and how intriguing the work we did was to me.
I’m used to working alone, but it was a joy to have Emily in my studio and to work together.
I have a new batch of Scrap Bin Potholders for sale in my Etsy Shop. Some are made with pieces of Vintage Hankies and some with pieces from an old quilt. A few are just made with plain old scraps.
My Scrap Bin Potholders are $20 +$5 shipping. You can see them all and buy them here.
I also have one more Kitty and Anne on the Pink Chair Potholder. I miss counted how many were sold when I put them up for sale in my Etsy Shop last week and have one more available.
My Kitty and Anne Potholder is $30 + $5 shipping. It’s more expensive because I draw each one individually using my free-motion sewing machine. Each one is an original drawing and there’s a lot more work involved to make them. It’s sewn on vintage linen. You can buy it here.
I looked past the woman sitting across from me in the waiting room, and out of the corner of my eye, I picked up the shape of her glasses, her hair, and how the mask fit over her nose and mouth.
I was drawing in the waiting room of Jon’s podiatrist’s office while he finally got the orthotics that had been delayed for months.
After that, we went to drop off my sewing machine to get cleaned and repaired. We stopped on the way to get a few fish, nerite snails, and shrimp for the fish tank.
I spent the early morning posting some potholders in my Etsy Shop and the evening doing my bookkeeping (only two months behind this time).
I didn’t get into my studio, but I’m caught up on my paperwork which frees me up for a while so I can concentrate on my art.
Tomorrow Emily is coming over and we’re going to experiment making some Gelli prints on fabric, something I’ve never done before. I’m looking forward to doing something so different and am excited to see where it will go or what it will inspire.
I took this photo of Zinnia this morning. While lying in bed I saw her reflection in the old glass of the kneeling window which swings open on hinges into the room. The only editing I did was to adjust the colors, making some shadows darker and bringing up the color.
I keep looking at it thinking I’m looking at a painting.